4 Platforms That Empower City Residents to Collaborate on Civic and Environmental Issues
Corporate platforms enabled by Information and Communication Technologies are sometimes seen as exploitative and even illegal by cities. The worst offenders, like Airbnb and Uber, have been described as Death Stars that extract vast amounts of value from local communities only to transfer that wealth elsewhere, sometimes into tax havens. Indeed, it would seem that the original ideas of sharing and peer-to-peer collaboration have been co-opted through an almost feudal structure of wealth extraction. Technology as such is not the culprit here. But it certainly enables the creation of new products and markets that, in practice, can perpetuate or even deepen existing socio-economic inequities. As long as tech development is dominated by global capital and intellectual elites, it seems difficult to see how it can contribute to empower local communities.